Sample Healthcare Paper on HIV/AIDS

CHAPTER 5: ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSIONS

Introduction

HIV/AIDS is a topic of concern all over the globe, but its prevalence in Africa has made scientists and scholars to offer new insights at its prevalence, causes, and possible intervention methods. The Sub- Saharan Africa is the most affected by the ravages of HIV/AIDS globally (Oluga, Kiragu, Mohamed & Walli, 2010).

Sex is the main way through which the HIV virus is transmitted, and its utmost importance lies in the choice of heterosexual partners being able to practice safe sex, and have conversations about it. The chief way through which HIV/AIDS is transmitted is via heterosexual contact, and women are infected more than their male counterparts (Oluga et al., 2010). This is influenced by a confluence of factors that put women in the relationship at a disadvantage. Whether this is a deliberate move on part of males, an environmental influence, or a socially acceptable cultural practice, it needs further elaboration.

Studies on gender and HIV/AIDS in Africa have focused on the prejudice women go through, and the consequence it has on HIV testing, opportunities for care, and peer support (Wyrod, 2011). However, they do not have much knowledge on the power in heterosexual relationships, and how this may affect infections. It should be understood that in regions of the world most affected by HIV/AIDS, the pandemic is occurring in the context of massive environmental and societal changes (Talman, Bolton, & Walson, 2013).

 

 

Interpretation of Findings

The study had three research questions that guided the collection and analysis of information. Interviews were the preferred mode of data collection, and eight participants were the final interviewees after a process of sampling and elimination to achieve desired sample size and quality.

The three research questions dwelt on cultural practices and their effects on the current rate of infections in couples in Kenya: attitudes and knowledge of Kenyans in respect of HIV infection risk reduction strategies: and the primary barriers towards stopping the prevalence of HIV among individuals with multiple sexual partners in Kenya.

From the results, three themes were developed; family values, socio-economic distress, and sexual proclivity under which various subthemes were also developed to elicit reactions from the respondents during the interviews. Gender and power was the main facet behind the themes and subthemes, and how they eventually led to either heightened or reduced risk of infection. This is more so since gender relationships are replicated at a more interpersonal plane during daily contacts among individuals and groups. They are susceptible to other influences and in the context of the research, family values, cultural practices, and socio-economic distress and sexual proclivity are such influences. Consequently, although gender hierarchies appear rigid, they are partly open to change for the reason that gender power interactions will be replicated in regular socialization avenues, and as well reconfigured during daily gestures and exchanges that subvert established gender identities (Wyrod, 2011).

A case in point is the findings that were mostly voiced by the female participants on the use of condoms as a way of protection. It was established that condom use faced setbacks and this has been identified by another study where it was established that potential partner-related barriers to condom use included intimate partner violence, low levels of sexual relationship power, and perceptions of monogamy, among women at risk for HIV (Bonacquisti, & Geller, 2013).

Theoretical Consideration

The theory of gender and power with variables in age social factors and marriage status were considered. This was incorporated with social structures and environmental milieu that affect the demographic characteristics herein identified. This can be well reflected in the concept that AIDS in Africa is not a single epidemic, but a series of them, perpetuated and escalated by poverty, inequality, and lack of information and education, and more so negatively inclined against women who bear the  greatest burden (Hardré, Garcia, Apamo, Mutheu, & Ndege, 2012).

The theory of gender and power was adopted to view the aforementioned matters and put them in context to the HIV/AIDS scourge in Nairobi, a city in Kenya from the East Africa region of Africa. Wyrod (2011) contend that gender is a social foundation that constructs long-lasting models of social interactions that mirror existing power dynamics, manifesting itself in gender hierarchies and disparities.

Implication for Social Change

It has been established that there exists certain condition that put women at a disadvantage in sexually active couples. All this is framed in environmental and socio-economic factors that make it impossible to have safe sex and promote use of precautionary measures within these couples. As indicated by Aarø, Mathews, Kaaya, Ruhweza Katahoire, Onya, H., Abraham, & … de Vries (2014), behavioral intercessions aiming sexually active couples may contribute to reducing the incidence of HIV infections in two ways: (i) promoting consistent use of condoms once sexually involved, and (ii) reducing the number of concurrent sexual partners.

Empowerment should go towards addressing the hindrances that are identified to impact on safety from infections. Even when people have knowledge about AIDS, their choice and autonomy may be socially or culturally constrained (Hardré et al., 2012). Insecurities that are brought about by vulnerabilities, especially due to economic aspects should not be an excuse for heightened sexual proclivity among sexually active couples. Women need participation that is more vocal because they disproportionately suffer dangerous sexually related consequences due to biological susceptibility and economic and societal gender inequities (Alexander, Coleman, Deatrick & Jemmott, 2012).

Recommendation for Further Study

From the research findings, there seems to be a relationship between HIV infections and the gender power in any sexual relationship. This is more so where the woman has a vocal perspective on her sexuality and the use of precautionary measure to protect herself from infection if she feels being put at risk by either her own behavior or that of the partner. The way a woman can be empowered under restricting circumstances would be an area that might benefit from further studies.

 

Conclusion

Results from this study have shed a light on the aspect of gender and power, and what influences its balance in heterosexual sexually active couples. In trying to alleviate the negative influences that gender and power play in sexually active couples, information and affective elements of interventions are considered critical to behavioral change, and the outcomes are both external (behaviors) and internal (beliefs and perceptions) (Hardré et al., 2012). This will go a long way to inform the way couples can protect themselves from behavioral risks and make informed choice on health sexual relationships to prevent HIV/AIDS infections. The push that a couple should take preventive measures is not enough, and it will be better if such messages spoke of the importance of couples voicing concerns and understanding what is at stake as they go through their daily lives.

 

References

Aarø, L. E., Mathews, C., Kaaya, S., Ruhweza Katahoire, A., Onya, H., Abraham, C., & … de Vries, H. (2014). Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 1-32.

Alexander, K. A., Coleman, C. L., Deatrick, J. A., & Jemmott, L. S. (2012). Moving beyond safe sex to women-controlled safe sex: a concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(8), 1858-1869.

Bonacquisti, A., & Geller, P. A. (2013). Condom-use intentions and the influence of partner-related barriers among women at risk for HIV. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(23/24), 3328-3336.

Hardré, P. L., Garcia, F., Apamo, P., Mutheu, L., & Ndege, M. (2012). Information, affect and action: motivating reduction of risk behaviors for HIV/AIDS in Kenya and Tanzania. Sex Education, 12(1), 1-24.

Oluga, M., Kiragu, S., Mohamed, M. K., & Walli, S. (2010). ‘Deceptive’ cultural practices that sabotage HIV/AIDS education in Tanzania and Kenya. Journal of Moral Education, 39(3), 365-380.

Talman, A., Bolton, S., & Walson, J. L. (2013). Interactions between HIV/AIDS and the Environment: Toward a Syndemic Framework. American Journal of Public Health, 103(2), 253-261.

Wyrod, R. (2011). Masculinity and the persistence of AIDS stigma. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 13(4), 443-456.